Tuesday, June 25, 2013

THE SKATES by Mark Rigney

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date published: 07-02-2013
ISBN: 978-1-61921-488-0
Reviewed by Helen
Obtained via publisher

Reverend Renner, a Unitarian Universalist minister, has a quiet, well-ordered life in Michigan. Until, when deciding to decorate his office, he buys a pair of old ice skates at a yard sale. Suddenly he finds he now also has a very large black dog, which follows him everywhere. And then the skates start behaving oddly. With the help of ex-linebacker Dale Quist he sets out to solve the puzzle.

I was clearly warned this story is in the horror genre, which is true, but it is not particularly horrible horror. Actually, it’s horror as I like it best. A little paranormalish, a little creepy and scary, a spine tingle here and there, but not blood and guts spilling onto every page.
The mystery and other worldliness is clearly laid out in the blurb, which is enough to entice any reader of this genre. But it’s the characters who come alive off the pages that make the story so good. The book is told in first person with no chapter breaks. First one character tells the story then the other one takes over. This works really well as we get the immediacy of the action, but also we get to know both characters twice, from their own point of view and also through the eyes of the other character.

There is even some humor involved, first through the dog, and second in a scene on the airplane which was absolutely brilliantly written, and laugh-out-loud funny. Warning. Put your beverages down before reading this scene or be prepared to clean your screen afterward.

I’ll be watching for the next Renner and Quist book, and searching to find the previous one.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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